In this post I aim to make a comparison of the Greek editions of Kroll and Pingree with the two English translations of Mark T. Riley and Roberth Schmidt. In some places I will also add some other translations of the titles of the chapters (as I did here with Bezza’s Italian translation of the 2nd chapter of Book I). I will also add some comments after each chapter where I will elaborate on some of the Greek words and discrepancies of the 2 Greek editions and their translations.

Book I

Chapter 1

Greek Title: Περὶ τῆς τῶν ἀστέρων φύσεως

Transliteration: Peri tēs tōn asterōn phuseōs.

Riley: The Nature of the Stars.

Schmidt: Concerning the Nature of the Stars.

Comments: ‘peri‘ is preposition with meaning ‘concerning’, ‘about’, ‘for’ and in certain cases need not be translated just as Riley did above. In many cases it is up to the intuitive approach of the translator. ‘Asterōn’ is genitive plural form of astēr, with meaning ‘star’. The noun ‘fuseōs’ is of the meaning ‘origin’, ‘birth’ , ‘nature’, ‘quality’, ‘property’, and comes from the verb fuō I grow.

Chapter 2:

Greek Title: Περὶ τῆς τῶν δώδεχα  ζῳδίων φύσεως

Transliteration: Peri tēs tōn dōdeka zōdiōn phuseōs

Riley: The Nature of the Twelve Zodiacal Signs

Schmidt: Concerning the Nature of the Twelve Zōidia

Bezza: Della Natura Dei Dodici Segni

Comments: Words ‘phuseōs’ and ‘peri’ I already explained above. ‘Zōdiōn’ is genitive plural of the third declension noun ‘zōdion’ (to zōdion) with meaning zodiacal sign. Dōdeka is 12.

Chapter 3:

Greek Title: Περὶ ὁρίων ἑξήκοντα

Transliteration: Peri horiōn heksēkonta

Riley: The 50 Terms

Schmidt: Concerning the Sixty Boundaries

Comments: I am not sure why Riley has ’50’, it is probably an error. Kroll’s edition has only ‘peri oriōn’ and Pingree adds ‘heksēkonta’. Word ‘horiōn’ is declension of the neuter noun ὅριον with meaning ‘boundary’, ‘limit’. It is a word for what we today know as ‘term’ in astrological sense. Schmidt in his earlier translations translated this word as ‘bound’, and in his newer translations (cf. D & F) uses the term ‘confine’.

I made a handy tables of these terms and their description given by Valens in a PDF format which you can download from here.

Chapter 4:

Greek Title: Περὶ ὡροσκόπου

Transliteration: Peri hōroskopou

Riley: Finding the Ascendant

Schmidt: Concerning the Hōroscopos.

Comments: Again, Riley’s translation is a bit improvisatory. Schmidt transliterated the genitive singular form of the noun ‘hōroscopou’ in its nominative form ‘hōroscopos’. In his newer translations he translates hōroscopos (i.e. the ascendant) as The Hour-Marker.

Chapter 5:

Greek Title: Ὡροσκοπικὸς γνώμων (Kroll 5)
Περὶ μεσουρανήματος (Pingree 5)

Transliteration: Horoskopikos gnōmōn.
Peri mesouranēmatos.

Riley: The Gnomon of the Ascendant

Schmidt: Concerning the Midheaven

Comments: Kroll and Pingree differ here and so Schmidt and Riley. Riley follows Kroll and Schmidt Pingree. Schmidt skips the title ‘Gnomon of the Ascendant’ and Riley puts number in front 5K which means ‘the fifth chapter according to Kroll’. In the next chapter he puts 6K; 5P which means ‘6th chapter according to Kroll and 5th according to Pingree”. Schmidt just follows Pingree’s order.

Mesouranema is neuter noun with meaning mid-heaven or zenith.
Hōroskopikos is adjective meaning ‘pertaining to the hōroskopos (i.e. ascendant).
Gnōmōn literally with meaning ‘one who knows or examines’ was erected column used for measuring the altitude of the Sun and other astronomical observations.

7K; 6P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀναφορᾶς τῶν ζῳδιων.

Transliteration: Peri anaphoras tōn zōdiōn.

Riley: The Rising Times of the Signs.

Schmidt: Concerning the Ascension of the Zōdia

Comments: From here on I will use Riley’s nomenclature referring Kroll as ‘K’ and Pingree as ‘P’ in numbering the chapters. Since the other words I already explained above, only the word ἀναφορά [anaphora] requires clarification. Anaphoras is genitive singular of the feminine noun ‘anaphora’ which means ‘coming up’, ‘rising’, ‘ascent’.

8K; 7P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀκουόντων καὶ βλεπόντων ζῳδίων.

Transliteration: Peri akouontōn kai blepontōn zōdiōn.

Riley: Listening and Beholding Signs.

Schmidt: Concerning the Zōdia that See and Hear.

Comments: The root of akouontōn is akouō (I hear, I listen) which is root of the English term ‘acoustics’. Akouontōn and Blepontōn are holding the same forms in 3rd person plural present participle and  imperative. Blepontōn comes from the verb Blepō which means ‘to see’.

9K; 8P.

Greek Title: Σύνοδοι καὶ πανσέληνοι ἀπὸ χειρός.

Transliteration: Sunodoi kai panselēnoi apo cheiros.

Riley: A Handy Method for New and Full Moons.

Schmidt: Synodic Conjunctions and Full Moons, Roughly…

Comments: Sunodoi is plural of sunodos with meaning New Moon, and panselēnoi is plural of panselēnos with meaning Full Moon. Cheiros is genitive of cheir with meaning ‘hand’. The genitive form cheiros means ‘by hand’, with the preposition ‘apo’ meaning ‘by’ or ‘from’ accompanying the genitive case.

10K; 9P

Greek Title: Περὶ ἑπταζώνου ἤτοι σαββατικῆς ἡμέρας ἀπὸ χειρός .

Transliteration: Peri heptazōnou ētoi sabbatikēs hēmeras apo cheiros.

Riley: A Handy Method for the Seven-Zoned System [or the Sabbatical Day]

Schmidt: Concerning the Seven-Zoned [Sphere or Sabbatical Day], Roughly…

Comments: hēptazōnou is genitive of hēptazōnos (seven-zoned [system])

11K; 10P.

Greek Title: Περὶ οἰκοδεσπότου ἔτους.

Transliteration: Peri oikodespotou etous.

Riley: The Houseruler of the Year.

Schmidt: Concerning the Ruler of the Year.

Comments: oikodespotou is genitive form of οἰκοδεσπότης (master, steward of the house, house-ruler) from oiko (house) and despotēs (despot, master).
Etous is genitive form of etos (year).

12K; 11P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀρρενικῶν καὶ θηλυκῶν μοιρῶν.

Transliteration: Peri arrenikōn kai thēlukōn moirōn.

Riley: Masculine and Feminine Degrees.

Schmidt: Concerning Masculine and Feminine Degrees.

Comments: arrenikōn is genitive plural of arrenikos (male, man-like, masculine), and thelukōn is genitive plural of thēlukos (female, woman-like, feminine). Moirōn is genitive plural from the noun moira with meaning ‘portion’. It is equivalent to what we today astrologically use as ‘degree’. Schmidt in his later translations consistently uses the term portion for translation of this very pregnant with meanings Greek word.

13K; 12P.

Greek title: Περὶ φωτισμῶν Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Peri phōtismōn Selēnēs.

Riley: The Visibility Periods of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lights of the Moon.

Comments: phōtismōn is genitive plural of phōtismos with meaning ‘illumination’, ‘light’.
Selēnēs is genitive singular of Selēnē which is the name for the Moon. The word Valens uses here (phōtismos] is interesting because the usual word used for ‘appearance’ or ‘helliacal rising’ is φάσις [phasis]. Schmidt translated the word phōtismos (in gen pl phōtismōn) literally as ‘light’ or ‘lights’, but Riley translated it as ‘visibility’.

14K; 13P.

Greek Title: Περὶ κρύψεως Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Peri krupseōs Selēnēs.

Riley: The Invisibility Period of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the Concealment of the Moon.

Comments: The word krupseōs comes from krupsis which means ‘hiding’, ‘occultation’, ‘disappearance’, ‘concealment’. It is also used to denote something hidden, mysterious or secret. Here obvious has the astronomical connotation of the invisibility of the Moon.

15K; 14P.

Greek Title: Περὶ τριταὶας ἐβομαίας τεσσαρακοσταίας Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Peri tritaias ebdomaias tessarakostaias Selēnēs.

Riley: The Third, Seventh, and Fortieth Days of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the 3rd, 7th, and 40th day of the Moon.

Comments: ‘tritaias’ literally means ‘on the third day’; ebdomaias ‘on the seventh day’; tessarakostaias ‘on the fortieth day’.

16K; 15P.

Greek Title: Ἀναβιβάζοντα ἀπὸ χειρὸς εὑρεῖν.

Transliteration: Anabibazonta apo cheiros heurein.

Riley: A Handy Method for Finding the Ascending Node.

Schmidt:  To Roughly Find the Ascending [Node].

Comments: Anabibazonta is participle of the verb anabibazō (sometimes read as anabibazdō) with meaning ‘to make go up’, ‘to ascend’. Astronomically and astrologically of course, it refers to the ascending node (North Node), and this is why Schmidt has it in parenthesis, since the original wording does not specifically points out to ‘node’.


Greek Title: Αλλως συντομώτερον.

Transliteration: Allōs suntomōteron.

Comments: Riley only put ’17K’ but didn’t write a title, whereas Pingree and Schmidt do not have separate chapter for this chapter in Kroll.  Riley has ‘Another more concise method’ in parenthesis but it is not separated from the rest of the text nor it is stressed in bold like the other chapters.

‘Allōs’ here stands for ‘another’ and suntomōteron for ‘short-cut’. The chapter or rather ‘sub-chapter’ would read as ‘Another short-cut [method]’.

18K; 16P

Greek Title: Περὶ εὑρέσεως βαθμῶν καὶ ἀνέμων τῆς Σελήνής.

Transliteration: Peri heureseōs bathmōn kai anemōn tēs Selēnēs.

Riley: The Determination of the Steps and the Winds of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the Finding of Steps and Winds of the Moon.

Comments: heureseōs is genitive form of heuresis with meaning ‘finding’, ‘discovery’.
Bathmōn is genitive plural of bathmos with meaning ‘step’, ‘degree’, ‘interval’.
Anemōn is gen pl of anemos with meaning ‘wind’.

19K; 17P

Greek Title: Ἱππάρχειον περὶ ψήφου Σελήνης ἐν ποίῳ ζῳδίῳ.

Transliteration: Hipparcheion peri psēphou Selēnēs en poiō zōdiō.

Riley: A Hipparcheion Concerning the Calculation of the Sign of the Moon.

Schmidt:  After Hipparchus, Concerning the Calculation of the Zoidion of the Moon.

Comments: psēphou is genitive singular form of psēphos. Psēphos is a pebble used for reckoning, counting.

20K; 18P

Greek Title (Kroll): Περὶ ψήφου Ἡλίου καὶ  τῶν ε΄ἀστέρων.
Transliteration: Peri psēphou Hēliou kai tōn 5 asterōn.

Greek Title (Pingree) Περὶ ψήφου τῶν ἄλλων πλανωμέρων.
Transliteration: Peri psēphou tōn allōn planōmerōn.

Riley: The Reckoning of the Sun and the Five Planets.

Schmidt: Concerning the Calculation of the Other Planets.

Comments: Again, Kroll’s edition and Pingree’s edition differ here. Riley follows Kroll and Schmidt Pingree. Hēliou is gen sg of Hēlios which is the name for the Sun.

21K; 19P

Greek Title (Kroll): Περὶ συμπαρουσίας καὶ συγκράσεως.
Transliteration: Peri sumparousias kai sunkraseōs.

Greek Title (Pingree): Περὶ συγκράσεων ἀστέρων.
Transliteration: Peri sunkraseōn asterōn.

Riley: The Combinations of the Stars.

Schmidt: Concerning the Commixtures of the Stars.

Comments: Kroll’s translation roughly would be “Concerning the co-presence and commixture”, and Pingree’s just as Schmidt translated it. Riley’s is also based on Pingree’s edition.

22K; 20P.

Greek Title (Kroll): Περὶ σχηματισμῶν κατὰ πλείους.
Transliteration: Peri schēmatismōn kata pleious.

Greek Title (Pingree): Τριῶν ἀστέρων σύγκρασις.
Transliteration: Triōn asterōn sunkrasis.

Riley: The Combination of Three Stars.

Schmidt: Commixture of Three Stars.

Comments: Kroll’s title is a bit non logical here. Rough translation of it would be “The configurations concerning more [planets]”. Both Riley and Schmidt follow Pingree.

23K; 21P.

Greek Title: Περὶ σπορᾶς.

Transliteration: Peri sporas.

Riley: Conception.

Schmidt: Concerning Conception.

Comments: All agree on this chapter.

24K; 22P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἑπταμήνων.

Transliteration: Peri heptamēnōn.

Riley: Seven-Month Children.

Schmidt: Concerning Children Born in the Seventh-Month.

Comments: heptamēnōn is gen pl of heptamēnos (a seven month’s child).

Book II

Greek Title: Οὐεττίου Οὐάλεντος Ἀντιοχέως ἀνθτολογιῶν βιβλίον δεύτερον.

Transliteration: Ouettiou Oualentos Antiocheōs anthologiōn biblion deuteron.

Riley: The Anthologies of Vettius Valens of Antioch: Book II.

Schmidt: Second Book of the Anthology of Vettius Valens of Antioch.

Comments: Here it is the difference of the title of Valens’ book in the two English translations. Riley titled it ‘Anthologies’ in plural, and Schmidt ‘Anthology’ in singular. It is true that anthologiōn refers to genitive plural of anthologia.

Chapter 1:

Greek Title: Περὶ τριγώνων.

Transliteration: Peri trigōnōn.

Riley: The Triangles.

Schmidt: On Trigons.

Comments: Here for the first time we see Schmidt not translating the preposition ‘peri’ as ‘concerning’ as he did in book I. If he followed his earlier style, he would have translated it as ‘Concerning Trigons’. Trigōnōn is gen pl of the noun trigōnos.

Chapter 2:

Greek Title:  Τριγώνων διακρίσεις καὶ οἰκοδεσποτῶν καὶ συνεργῶν καὶ αἱρέσεων Ἡλίου Σελήνης ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός.

Transliteration: Trigōnōn diakriseis kai oikodespotōn kai sunergōn kai haireseōs Hēliou Selēnēs hēmeras kai nuktos.

Riley: The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Triangles, the Houserulers, the Helpers, and the Sects  of the Sun and the Moon—for Day or Night Births.

Schmidt: The Differences of the Trigons, and Rulers, and Co-workers, and the Sects of the Sun and Moon by Day and by Night.

Comments: This is one of the longest title in the Anthologies. Diakriseis from ‘diakrisis‘ means differentiation, discrimination, separation, etc. Oikodespotōn is gen pl of oikodespotēs with meaning master, ruler, etc. Riley had translated it as ‘Houseruler’ and Schmidt just as ‘Ruler’, of course in plural form.
The word sunergōn which is actually gen pl of sunergos (or sunergēs) is quite interesting one. The verbal form is sunergeō with meaning ‘to co-operate’, ‘to work together with’, ‘to help in work’; and this is why Riley translated it as Helper (in plural form ‘helpers), and Schmidt as Co-worker (in plural form as ‘co-workers’).
The word so important for Hellenistic astrology ‘hairesis‘ (sect) here is given in gen pl form haireseōn. Hēmeras kai nuktos are with meaning ‘by day’ and ‘by night’ respectively.

Chapter 3:

Greek Title: Περὶ κλήρου τύχης καὶ οἰκοδεσπότου.

Transliteration: Peri klērou tuchēs kai oikodespotou.

Riley: The Lot of Fortune and its Houseruler.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lot of Fortune and the Ruler.

Comments: klērou is gen sg of klēros (lot). Tuchēs stands for Fortune and oikodespotou is gen form of oikodespotēs (ruler or houseruler).

Chapter 4:

Greek Title: Περὶ τοῦ λαχόντος τὴν ὥραν ἤ τὸν κλῆρον ἀστέρος.

Transliteration: Peri tou lachontos tēn hōran e ton klēron asteros.

Riley: The Star Which Holds the Ascendant or the Lot.

Schmidt: Concerning the Star Allotted the Hour or the Lot.

Comments: Here we have the aorist participle lachontos coming from λαγχάνω (obtained by lot) which Schmidt translated it better in my opinion (Allotted). ἢ (e) is conjunction with meaning ‘or’. Hōran is accusative form of hōra with meaning ‘hour’. We all know what ‘asteros’ stands for, it is the Greek word for a star or planet.

Chapter 5:

Greek Title: Κακοδαίμονος τόπος· πολλὰ σχήματα.

Transliteration: kakodaimonos topos polla schēmata.

Riley: The <XII> Place of the Bad Daimon. Many Configurations.

Schmidt: The Place of the Evils Spirit – Many Figures.

Comments: Kakodaimōn has the meaning of ‘possessed by an evil genius’. Kakos is adjective of meaning ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ and daimōn is noun for spirit or genius. It is common Greek name for the 12th Place (topos) from the ascendant. Schēmata is nom/acc plural of schēma with meaning ‘figure’, ‘shape’, etc. Astrologically is used in notion of planets forming a figure (aspect).

Chapter 6:

Greek Title: Ἀγαθοῦ δαίμονος τόπος· πολλὰ σχήματα. Ζητητέον καὶ ἀκουόντων καὶ βλεπόντων ζῳδίων.

Transliteration: Agathou daimonos topos. Polla schēmata. Zētēteon kai peri akouontōn kai blepontōn zōdiōn.

Riley: The <XI> Place of the Good Daimon. Many Configurations. The Hearing and the Beholding  Signs Must Also Be Investigated.

Schmidt: The Place of the Good Spirit – Many Figures.

Comments: Agathou is gen sg of agathos with the simple meaning of ‘good’. It is interesting that this adjective is also used in notion of ‘capable’ which associate with this sign regarded as productive to good things as gains, realization of hopes and ambitions, and where planets operate well.
[Zētēteon kai peri akouontōn kai blepontōn zōdiōn] as addition to the title was put in parenthesis in Pingree’s edition and Schmidt decided not to translate it, while Riley did translate it. Zētēteon is accusative of the nominative adjective form Zētēteos with meaning “to be sought”. Akouontō and blepontōn forms of the verbs ‘to hear’ and ‘to see’ I already examined above in the comments of the first book.


Greek Title: Μεσουράνημα.

Transliteration: Mesouranēma.

Riley: <The X Place>—Midheaven.

Schmidt: The Midheaven.

Comments: Now the situation is reversed, Pingree’s edition has chapter that lacks in Kroll. This does not mean that the text is missing, it is just that this short chapter in Kroll’s edition is part of the previous chapter No. 6. The next chapter in Riley will be numbered as 7K; 8P.

7K; 8P

Greek Title:  Θεοῦ Ἡλίου τόπος τὸ προμεσουράνημα, Θ΄ἀπὸ ὡροσκόπου· πολλὰ ἔχει σχήματα.

Transliteration: Theou Hēliou topos to promesouranēma, 9 apo hōroskopou polla echei schēmata.

Riley: The IX Place of the God Sun, just before MC. The Ninth Place from the Ascendant.  It Has Many Configurations.

Schmidt: The Place of the God of the Sun, the Pre-Midheaven, 9th from the Hōroskopos – It Has Many Figures.

Comments: As I explained above, the word ‘mesouranēma’ stands for the mid-heaven, the preposition ‘pro’ here stands for ‘in front’, ‘prior’, and just means ‘before the MC’ or as Schmidt translated it ‘Pre-Midheaven’. This is an allusion of the primary motion of the heavens where the 9th sign culminates before the 10th sign, just as the 12th pre-ascends the ascending sign.

The part ‘theou hēliou‘ requires further explanation. Theou is gen sg of theos (God, Diety) and would translate as ‘of God‘. Hēliou is also gen sg of Hēlios and would translate as ‘of Sun‘. So Schmidt translated the phrase literally “Of the God of the Sun”. However, it is not unusual, whenever there are two consequent words in genitive case, one of them to be translated in English as nominative/acc and the other as genitive. Riley here translated as “of the God Sun”.

8K; 9P.

Greek Title: Ὄγδοος τοπος θανάτου· παντοῖαι θεωρίαι.

Transliteration: Ogdoos topos thanatou. Pantoiai theōriai.

Riley: The VIII Place of Death. Various Views.

Schmidt: The Eight Place, Of Death – All Sorts of Regards.

Comments: Ogdoos means eight, topos is place and thanatou is gen sg of thanatos with meaning death. Pantoioi is plural form of pantoios with meaning ‘of all sorts’, ‘of all kinds’, ‘manifold’, ‘various’, etc. Theōriai is plural of theōria, noun that really does not require explanation. Robert Hand put footnote besire the word ‘Regards’ in Schmidt’s translation that they are not certain what this means. I don’t know on which part of the title they were not sure, probably on the clause ‘many views’, that is, ‘various regards’. It seems that Valens here presents different views on this topical place, views of the other authors, or he just speaks about the manifold meanings of this place.

9K; 10P.

Greek Title (Kroll): Δεύτερος τόπος.

Transliteration: Deuteros topos.

Greek Titke (Pingree): Δυτικός τόπος.

Transliteration: Dutikos topos.

Riley: The <VII> Place of the Descendant.

Schmidt: The Setting Place.

Comments: Kroll’s ‘deuteros’ with meaning ‘second’ is an error. Pingree’s edition has ‘dutikos’ with meaning ‘western’ or ‘setting’ in adjective form, or ‘westerner’ in noun form. It is used in astrology for the 7th topical place/sign from the ascendant.

10K; 11P.

Greek Title: Ἕκτος τόπος Ἄρεως.

Transliteration: Hektos topos Areōs.

Riley: The VI Place. The Place of Mars.

Schmidt: The Sixth Place of Ares.

Comments: Hektos stands for ‘sixth’. Areōs is gen sg of Arēs which is Greek name for planet Mars.

11K; 12P.

Greek Title: Πέμπτος τόπος· πολλαὶ θεωορίαι.

Transliteration: Pemptos topos. Pollai Theōriai.

Riley:  The V Place. Many Theorems.

Schmidt: The Fifth Place – Many Regards.

Comments: Pemptos is ‘fifth’. Topos, pollai and theōrai we already examined in the above chapters.

12K; 13P

Greek Title: Τέταρτον ὑπόγειον.

Transliteration: Tetarton hupogeion.

Riley: The IV Place—Lower Midheaven.

Schmidt: The Fourth, Subterraneous Place.

Comments: Tetarton, from tetartos, means ‘fourth’; and hupogeion is acc from hupogeios with meaning ‘underground’, ‘subterraneous, ‘under the earth’, ‘the nadir’ etc. Astrologically it refers to what we today know as IC.

13K; 14P.

Greek Title: Τρίτος τόπος Θεᾶς Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Tritos topos Theas Selēnēs.

Riley: The III Place. The Place of the Goddess Moon.

Schmidt: The Third Place of the Goddess of the Moon.

Comments: Tritos is ordinal adjective with meaning ‘third’, topos is place. Theas is gen sg of the noun Thea with meaning Goddess. Selēnēs is gen sg of Selēnē which is the Greek name for the Moon.

14K; 15P

Greek Title: Δεύτερος τόπος καλεῖται Ἅιδου πύλη.

Transliteration: Deuteros topos kaleitai Haidou pulē.

Riley: The II Place, Called the Gate of Hades. The Place Rising After the Ascendant.

Schmidt: The Second Place – Called the Gate of Hades.

Comments: Deuteros is ordinal adjective meaning ‘second’.  Kaleitai is present indicative middle or passive of ‘kaleō’ to call or I call.

Haidou is genitive singular  of  Haidēs the place of the departed spirits, the grave, death, etc. This word is very pregnant with meanings, mythology and philosophy. Polē literally means ‘gate’, ‘door’, and in mythology is often used alongside Hades as here. πύλαι Ἀΐδαο the gates of the nether world.

15K; 16P.

Greek Title: Τόπων ὀνομασίαι ἐννέα.

Transliteration: Topōn onomasiai ennea.

Riley:  Nine Names of the Places.

Schmidt: Names of the Places.

Comments: Pingree puts ‘ennea’ in parenthesis. Ennea means nine and I think this is why Schmidt didn’t translate that word because there are no 9 Places but 12. Onomasia is name and onomasiai is plural. So I agree with Schmidt with his intention not put ennea (nine) in this title.

16K; 17P.

Greek Title: Τριγωνικαὶ ἀστέρων διακρίσεις πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν ἤ δυστυχίαν· τριγωνικὰ καὶ ἐξαγωνικὰ καὶ διαμετρικὰ σχήματα.

Transliteration: Trigōnikai asterōn diakriseis pros eudaimonian e dustuchian trigōnika kai eksagōnika kai diametrika schēmata.

Riley: The Trine Influences of the Stars on Prosperity or Poverty. The Configurations of  Trine, Sextile, and Opposition.

Schmidt: 17. Triangular Judgments of the Stars in Relation to Happiness or Misfortune – Triagonal and Hexagonal and Diametrical Figures.

Comments: Trigōnikai is plural of trigōnikos with meaning triangular. Asterōn is gen pl of astēr with meaning a star (planet).
Diakriseis which is a plural form of the noun diakrisis is a word used in judicial sense with meaning ‘judicial decision‘. It is also a word used for discrimination, interpretation, diagnosis, etc. Pros is preposition with meaning ‘in relation to’, ‘towards’, etc. It is often used with the accusative case pointing out to the object in the sentence. Eudiamonian is accusative case of eudaimonia with meaning prosperity, happiness, or good fortune. The conjunction ‘e’ means ‘or’. Dustuchian is accusative form of the noun dustuchia with meaning ill luck, ill fortune. Trigonika, eksagonika and diametrika refers to the aspects or figures (schema) of trigon (trine), hexagon (sextile) and opposition (diameter).

17K; 18P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ὡροσκόπου τοῦ τῆς τύχης κλήρου (Kroll).

Transliteration: Peri hōroskopou tou tēs tuchēs klērou.

Greek Title: Περὶ ὡροσκόπων <τοῦ> τῆς τύχης κλήρου (Pingree)

Transliteration: Peri hōroskopou tou tēs tuchēs klērou.

Riley: The Lot of Fortune as the Ascendant.

Schmidt: Concerning Hour-Markers of the Lot of Fortune.

Comments: Kroll has hōroskopu as gen sg of hōroskopos, and Pingree hōroskopōn as gen pl. Schmidt as always, follows Pingree. Riley’s translation is interesting because the word hōroskopos in the form of hōroskopeō is connotative of ‘mark by its rising the time’ or being in the ascendant as Liddel and Scott’s lexicon say. In that case hōroskopōn as participle of hōroskopeō may be connotative with the Riley’s translation and Pingree’s correction.

18K; 19P

Greek Title: Περὶ ὑψώματος Ἡλίου καὶ Σελήνης πρὸς εύδαιμονίαν.

Transliteration: Peri hupsōmatos Hēliou kai Selēnēs pros eudaimonian.

Riley: The Exaltation of the Sun and Moon. Their Effects on Prosperity.

Schmidt: Concerning the Exaltation of the Sun and Moon in Relation to Happiness.

Comments: Hupsōmatos is gen sg of the neuter noun hupsōma with meaning ‘elevation, height’. Astrologically refers to the sign in which planet has its Exaltation.

Eudaimonian is acc sg of the feminine noun eudaimonia, word very pregnant with philosophical meanings. Generally refers to happiness and prosperity in life. You can read more about this word and the concepts behind it on this Wikipedia entry.

19K; 20P

Greek Title: Περὶ κλήρου τύχης kαὶ δαίμονος πρὸς εύδαιμονίαν καὶ ἀποτροπὴν πράξεων.

Transliteration: Peri klērou tuchēs daimonos pros eudaimonian kai apotropēn prakseōn.

Riley: The Lot of Fortune and Daimon. Their Influence on Prosperity and the Outcome  of Actions.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lot of Fortune and of Spirit in Relation to Happiness and the Prevention of Actions.

Comments: klērou is gen sg of klēros (lot). Tuchēs is also gen sg of tuchē (fortune) and daimonos is gen sg of daimōn (spirit). Daimōn is one of the most meaningful words in Hellenistic ‘theosophy’. On most basic level simply means ‘god’ or ‘goddess’, or ‘deity’; but it also represents the power of the Deity, or the Divine Power. This is why Schmidt came out with the idea that the Lots represent the power of the Planets more visibly manifested in our daily lives. I plan to open separate entry for this word only in near future.  Another interesting word in our study here is apotropēn since both translators have translated it very differently. Apotropēn is acc sg of the feminine noun apotropē turning away, aversion. I don’t know why Riley translated it as ‘Outcome’.

20K; 21P

Greek Title: Περὶ <τοῦ ια΄> τόπου τῆς τύχες πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν.

Transliteration: Peri <tou ia [iota + alpha + tonos]> topou tēs tuches pros eudaimonian.

Riley: The 11th Place <Relative to the Lot> of Fortune and its Influence on Prosperity.

Schmidt: Concerning the Place of Fortune in Relation to Happiness.

Comments: The iota + alpha + tonos given in an angle brackets in the Greek versions is how the Greeks represented the numbers. Iota representing the tenth and alpha the one, it gives the number 11. I don’t know why Schmidt didn’t translate this, knowing that the title would have had more sense knowing the subject of the chapter.

21K; 22P.

Greek Title: Τῶν προκειμένων κεφαλαίων ὑποδείγματα.

Transliteration: Tōn prokeimenōn kephalaiōn hupodeigmata.

Riley: Examples for the Preceding Chapters.

Schmidt: Illustrations of the Chapters Above.

Comments: Hupodeigmata is plural of the neuter noun hupodeigma with meaning ‘illustration’, ‘picture’. Kephalaiōn is gen pl of kephalaios with meaning ‘head’, ‘chief’, etc., but also means ‘chapter’ as a chapter in book, or summary of something previously said.

22K; 23P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἐνδόξων καὶ ἐπισήμων γενέσεων· τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ καὶ περὶ ἀδοξων καὶ ἐκπιπτόντων.

Transliteration: Peri endoksōn kai episēmōn geneseōn, to de auto kai peri adoksōn kai ekpitontōn.

Riley: Notable and Distinguished Nativities. Also Ignoble and Debased Nativities.

Schmidt: Concerning Estimable and Notable Nativities, and, with the Same Considerations, Concerning Disreputable Nativities and Those That Come to Naught.

Comment: Endoksōn is gen pl of endoksos held in esteem or honor, of high repute.
Episēmōn is also gen pl of episēmon distinguishing mark, those people who are notable or remarkable. Geneseōn is gen pl of genesis which is the Greek name for the nativity or birth chart. Adoksōn is gen pl of adoksos inglorious, disreputable.


Greek Title: Περὶ κλήρου δάνους.

Transliteration: Peri klērou danous.

Riley: The Lot of Debt.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lot of Debt.

Comments: Danous is gen sg of neuter noun danos with meaning loan, debt.

24K; 25P.

Greek Title: Κλῆρος κλοπῆς.

Transliteration: Klēros klopēs.

Riley: The Lot of Theft.

Schmidt: The Lot of Theft.

Comments: Klopēs is gen sg of the noun klopē with meaning theft.

25K; 26P.

Greek Title: Κλῆρος ἑνέδρας.

Transliteration: Klēros enedras.

Riley: The Lot of Deceit.

Schmidt: The Lot of Treachery.

Comment: Enedra is word for trickery, treachery, deception, etc.
Riley found it necessary to add a subtitle in this chapter which reads as “Ignoble and Debased Nativities” that is not implemented neither in Kroll nor in Pingree. Since the theme of Lot of Deceit or Treachery brakes off suddenly and Valens speaks about totally different subject, I think that Riley did good with separating the text with a separate subtitle.

26K; 27P

Greek Title: Τῶν προκειμένων τόπων ὑποδείγματα.

Transliteration: Tōn prokeimenōn topōn hupodeigmata.

Riley: Examples of the Previously Mentioned Places.

Schmidt: Illustrations of the Above Places.

27K; 28P

Greek Title: Περὶ χρόνων ἐμπράκτων καὶ ἀπράκτων καὶ ζωῆς τοῦ ἐκ τῶν κέντρων καὶ ἐπαναφορῶν.

Transliteration: Peri chronōn empraktōn kai apraktōn kai zōēs tou ek tōn kentrōn kai epanaphorōn.

Riley: Propitious and Impropitious Periods. The Length of Life Calculated from the Angles  and the Signs Following the Angles.

Schmidt: Concerning the Propitious and Unpropitious Times of Life from the Pivot Points and the Post-Ascensions.

Comments: Empraktōn is gen pl of empraktos within one’s power to do, effective, active.
Apraktōn is also gen pl of apraktos unprofitable, when no business is done, holidays, restful, period of inaction, etc. We can easily notice the root praksis (doing business, action) here. Chronōn is gen pl of chronos, time. Zōēs is gen sg of zōē with meaning life, existence. Kentrōn is gen pl of kentron, angle (Schmidt: Pivot). Epanaphorōn is gen pl of epanaphora, referring to the signs following the angles. Probably Riley should have put ‘calculated’ in parenthesis if he was about to follow the Greek title.


Greek Title: Περὶ ἀποδημίας ἐκ τῶν Ἑρμίππου.

Transliteration: Peri apodēmias ek tōn Hermippou.

Riley: Travel, from Hermippos.

Schmidt: On Being Away from Home, from the [Writings] of Hermippus.

Comments: Concerning the name ‘Hermippus’ Schmidt adds this comment to his translation: “Presumably an astrologer by that name, although there is an extant Byzantine dialog between a Christian and an astrologer with that title”.

The noun apodēmia literally means ‘going/being abroad’, ‘life in a foreign land’.


Greek Title: Περὶ ἀποδημίας

Transliteration: Peri apodēmias.

Riley: Travel.

Schmidt: Concerning Being Away From Home.

3 thoughts on “Valens’ Anthology: Comparison of the Greek Chapter Titles and their Translations

  1. Hi Ile
    As an early student of ancient Greek I really appreciate this simple entry into the ‘fountainheard language’ of the early Greek astrological writings, via the chapter titles (especially in regard to Valens – a favourite).

    I think that pursuit of understanding the fundamental nature of the words, the definitions, and the world-view interlaced in their use is crucial in understanding the spirit of the Art, it’s philosophic underpinnings, and it’s techniques.

    I also think it valuable for the student/practitioner of astrology to realise the quirks and conventions of translation which can happen in various ways(especially regarding the ancient heritage).

    Thanks for opening this door and letting a little light through.

    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you for the comment 🙂

      I am glad that you too study Ancient Greek and the works of the Hellenistic astrologers.

      I plan to open other sections related to other astrologers belonging to the so called Hellenistic astrology tradition, when the time will allow me.

      I agree that the understanding of the language is very important in these studies. Latin and Ancient Greek are ‘must learn’ for every serious student in traditional astrology – just as every serious student in Indian astrology knows Sanskrit, at least, I haven’t met anyone who does not know at least a bit of Sanskrit – in similar manner, those who are serious about Hellenistic astrology, in my opinion, should know how to read the Greek alphabet and be able to study the words and definitions!

      I hope you would find interesting things on this blog!


  2. Funny, I also started working on Valens’s work lately, and I realised some words may have special meanings that could not be inferred through common sense.

    For example, in Book 1, “Concerning the Nature of the Stars”, one of the Sun’s significations is “practical wisdom”. Googling this phrase, I found that it may be referring to “Phronesis”, which is a philosophical term expounded by Aristotle.

    Common sense might tell us that it means “being streets-smart”, but it is more than that. True, it is our ability to determine the best way to achieve a (practical) goal, but at the same time it is also our ability to determine what goals to pursue in the first place, in order to live well (eudaimonia).

    When we study ancient astrology, we are not only studying the methods of predicting one’s life; we are also learning about the culture from which the tool emerged.

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